The Directorate of Resource Surveys & Remote Sensing (DRSRS) and the Kenyan smart agri-tech company Agrvision, have signed a partnership plan to develop a platform for crop monitoring and yield forecasting powered by satellite imagery and artificial intelligence
The five-year strategic partnership MoU was signed by deputy director of DRSRS Charles Situma and the chief operations officer of Agrvision Oscar Mwai at the DRSRS head office in Nairobi opening a direct engagement between the two institutions on the implementation of a road map for a nationwide crop forecasting and monitoring system in Kenya.
The agreement aims to bring the two entities’ expertise into action to develop a smart unified platform to digitally monitor and classify crops around Kenya and to provide an advanced analytics tool to enhance data driven decisions. This will contribute to the social and economic development of agriculture and forestry sectors in Kenya.
According to Situma, “As the official institution advising the Government of Kenya on matters related to Remote Sensing and Geographical Information systems (GIS) and gathering of data on the environment and natural resources around the country, DRSRS entered into this strategic collaboration with Agrvision to work together with an Agri- tech expert in developing the right digital tools and usage of advanced data collection and analytics technologies that can help the agricultural sector and decision makers in the country, have full visibility and data driven decisions that enhance food security programs to achieve better sustainable results.”
While the agricultural sector, including crops and livestock, is one of the most important sectors in the Kenyan economy, it is extremely vulnerable to climate change largely due to the increasing temperatures, changing rainfall patterns and extreme weather events with poor agricultural practices, low quality inputs and lack of access to knowledge. Serious steps and programmes need to be adapted to ensure provision of adequate food for a growing population and to increase export crops to generate foreign exchange.
With more than 15 years of domain expertise in agri-tech sector globally, Agrvision developed a smart crop and forestry monitoring digital platform analysing all big data collected through satellite imagery and specialised drones, using advanced data analytics algorithms, powered by machine learning, and artificial intelligence customised models and tools, to help farmers, forestry professionals, agricultural institutions and NGOs having useful insights and predictive analytics for a better data driven decision making, delivered through customised convenient easy-to-use digital channels.
On his part, Agrvision’s Oscar Mwai said, “We believe that agriculture should be not only a smart but also a sustainable industry. That’s why we’re committed to simplifying the remote sensing-based precision agriculture technology and provide highly-precise information about fields, crops and forests.”
“Our crop and forestry monitoring platform, collects data from different sources like satellite and engage it with advanced analytics for vegetation indices, water stress, soil moisture, temperature effect and weather forecast to provide end user with useful descriptive and predictive insights. These insights are visual, simple-to-understand pieces of information that can be used to guide action that makes working in agriculture and forestry easier, and saves precious time and resources, we believe that this collaboration with DRSRS with the in-depth knowledge they have on the agricultural mapping and remote sensing, will add strength to the development and customisation process for having the digital platform up and running,” Mwai added.